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Friday 10 April  - Teachers Messages (Part 5) - Teachers sharing tips and their experiences 

Monday 6 April  - Teachers Messages (Part 4) - Teachers sharing tips and their experiences 

Community Message 3

Community Message 2

Community Message 1 

 Friday April 3 - Teachers Messages (Part 3) - Teachers sharing tips and their experiences

Tuesday March 31 - Teachers Messages (Part 2) - Teachers sharing tips and their experiences 

 Friday March 27 - Teachers Messages (Part 1) - Teachers sharing tips and their experiences 

Wednesday March 25 - Principals Message - Mrs Peck wishing you all the best

Distance Learning LInk - Riverdale School


14 April 2020

Dear Riverdale Whanau,

I hope this letter finds you and your families still safe from Covid 19 and its terrible world wide impact and devastation.

Thank you to all the families and staff who have opened their lives up to each other and our community through our video sharing. The one fabulous thing to come out of this crisis is the time to be with your own family. It has also allowed us the time to get to know each other a little better and to be privileged to have a peep inside others personal bubbles.

We, like you, have staff who have family members no longer employed, self employed partners  who cannot work, partners who are essential workers, going out daily to support our Community, partners who are required to work their usual weekly hours from home and staff who are on their own with children.

Many of you will have seen differing reports in the media about how and when schools will reopen once we move from level 4. There is a lot of misinformation out there so I thought I would try to clarify this for you. The following is based on the huge amount of information I am receiving directly from the Ministry of Education without any media spin.

The 5 main points are 

  1. No decision has been made yet about when schools will reopen. This decision will be made based on data about the spread of covid 19 and how we are managing to stamp it out. It is unlikely a decision will be made before 20 April.
  2. The very earliest schools would reopen would be the 29 of April, and this is likely only to be for some students.
  3. The Ministry, together with teachers, are preparing for several possible scenarios - opening only for staff, opening for essential workers’ children, opening in shifts so that children can stay 2 metres apart, opening for senior students only, a combination of distance and onsite learning, staggered openings and not opening for a number of weeks. Riverdale Management wants to be prepared for whatever the decision is once the data becomes clear.
  4. There will be ample notice before schools open. They will not be opened one day and then risk being closed again the next day. We will be given ample time to ensure our school has a deep clean, that our planning for the term is completed  (in whatever shape it takes) and that we have put in place any health and safety regulations.
  5. The Government has been very clear that we will NOT be moving out of Alert level 4 early.

Chris Hipkins the Minister for Education is working on guidelines for what Alert Level 3 could look like for schools. We look forward to his guidance on this matter.

It is from these lenses that I write to keep you up to date with where Riverdale School is with home learning. It is a difficult and complex time for everyone.

 Distance Learning - Some reminders

  • You are not required to “teach” your children as if they were attending school for 6 hours a day.
  • Plan your daily timetable to also include breaks, healthy snacks, outside activities, challenges and passion based projects, alongside an hour or so of home learning from the blog and/or the ‘Plugged’ and ‘Unplugged’ weekly sheet (This is also available on your child’s Blog/Website under ‘Distance Learning’). Your Morning could be based on more formal options for an hour or so and the afternoons focussed on a project using Te Ako Ritenga. (Challenges, sporting activities, Creativity and Explore times)
  • Have children write or video or record in some way of their not make this onerous.
  • Use the Blogs, Websites or Seesaw Platform (Pae Ake Team) to access a range of Reading, Writing and Maths activities for your child/children.
  • Access the MOE websites. Remember these are simply a compilation only of websites that you may find useful for extra activities. They are not personalised to your child’s current learning level.
  • Tune in to the TV educational programme for a selected part of the day.

Our plan

  • You will receive a phone call from one of our staff over the next few days, simply to connect and see how you are going. This is not about checking up on any learning the students are doing, nor is it a judgement call about what people need/should to be doing. We simply want to check that you and the tamariki are ok. That you are able to find and access any schoolwork you can manage inside your personal family circumstances, and that you have access to the options we have provided.
  • We have very deliberately set work/tasks and have provided ideas that you can do within your own timetable.
  • A new ‘Plugged’ and ‘Unplugged’ guide for the week will be available Wednesday 15 April morning at 9 am via the Classroom Blogs/Websites Tab, labeled “Distance Learning”.
  • Blogs and seesaw activities will continue to be updated/added to by staff
  • From Wednesday 22 April we will also add a video from teachers (One each day) in each childs’ team that has approximately 1-½ hours of work that can be accessed when it suits your family dynamics. We understand that devices may well be shared in your family and that data may be limited, and some families have no wifi access. This will take us through to the week beginning Wednesday April 29.
  • All Staff will be available via email (You can find contact details on our website). Please be mindful that we are also caring for our immediate families and so I ask that these emails are kept between current office hours of 8.30am - 4pm. We will endeavour to get back to you within 24 hours. We can not individually personalise everyone's learning at distance as this is our professional teaching practice at its best based on individual diagnostic formative observations with students in front of us.

Remember tamariki at Riverdale School do not spend all day attached to a device, this is not good for them at all.

They have a 10 minute brain break every hour that is unstructured, possibly outside and off screens.

Relationships and routine in your household are the most helpful for calming children and supporting them to manage themselves and their emotions during this time of lockdown.

I know this is a very long missive, however I hope it provides you with some clarity around our plans moving forward.

Take care of you and yours 

Kind regards 

Debra Peck


Tuesday 24 March 

Dear Riverdale Whanau,

This morning we greet you in a time of history that is unprecedented in our generation. First and foremost, we all need to take this time to connect and support each other.  What an opportunity to take a breath and be together as a family, in order to keep ourselves and others safe in Aotearoa. You will have lots of time with your whanau over the next 4 weeks.  Please remember that 2 weeks of this time is school holidays for both staff and students. This is designed for students to have a break.

The Riverdale Way

We would emphasise that children of all levels learn best when following their own curiosity, questions and wonderings. This leads to self driven learning through play and investigation. The absolute best thing you can do while your children are following their own curiosities, is to give them the resources they need to follow through.  Use our Te Ako Ritenga learning process (children are very familiar with this) and make the learning fun and self driven.

Distance Learning at Riverdale School 

What should we be doing?

Please remember your job is not to be your child's teacher. Each day at school, children do not do ‘book work’ from 9-3,  but rather they have small allocated blocks of teacher directed learning supported by self directed learning (SDL). We are suggesting that you plan your day consisting of book work from our resources and online websites followed by rich activities and experiences. 

These experiences could include but not limited to;

Play Board Games

Read Books


Create and Make

Nature Programs

Sleepover in the lounge organise

Paint a room in the house

Write  a letter 

Make a Shelf

Learn to use tools

You have the time to be creative! Design your own rich curriculum or use ours for guidance.

How could this work or be planned for? Here is an example of a daily plan…




Morning routines - As normal: followed by a family breakfast that is possibly made together. Talk about the day and short term/long term goals.

9am - 10am

‘Plugged Activity’ - Look at the tasks online together and choose one or two tasks to complete. Be there as support when needed. Focus time.

10am - 11am


11am - 1pm

‘Unplugged Activity’ - Look at ideas provided online or introduce your own creative idea. Have fun! Follow our learning process together.

1pm - Onwards

Personal Projects and Experiences - Carry on with personal special projects and experiences.

What if I do not have a device? What do I do?

Today we have delivered a copy of our distance learning to those families that we know don't have access to a device or access to the internet. Look in your letterbox later today.

We will also have a plastic box at the front door of our School, with Year Level labels on it with the ‘Unplugged’ and ‘Plugged’ versions (ie photocopied). 

Please only use this resource if you are unable to access the internet. Remember to maintain a safe distance from others and wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling the box.

Where can I Access this ‘Distance Learning’?

Digital links can be accessed via the children's class blogs/websites. There will be a link/button labelled ‘Distance Learning’. There you will find the ‘Plugged’ and ‘Unplugged’ learning activities/experiences.

Hard Copies can be found at the Riverdale School Entrance in a plastic box.

The next distance learning package update will be Wednesday 15 April following the “School Holiday Break”.

Please take care of yourselves and each other. We look forward to seeing you all back safe and sound. 

Kind Regards 

Debra Peck


School Closure

Monday 23 March 

Dear Riverdale Whanau,

As of 1.30 today the Prime Minister announced moving the country to Alert Level 3 and within 48 hours, to Alert Level 4. Her announcement contained information regarding school closure.  School is closed from pick up today.  This means do not send your children to school tomorrow.  

The only exception is for children of essential personnel - ie doctors, nurses, police and fire. Information will come out to you directly from the ministry regarding who is considered essential personnel.  

This gives you 48 hours to make other arrangements.  

The school will shut entirely from midnight Wednesday. 

Distance Learning at Riverdale School - 

  1. For Tomorrow

As always, online links to learning are part of your child's class blog. You are most welcome to refer to these. You can find these links on our School Website and/or School App.

In the interim;

- Play board games

- Read books

- Do baking

- Talk with your child about their interest

- Create and make

- Go for walks and bike rides 

- Use the blog links for maintenance activities and ideas

  1. From Thursday our Distance Learning package will be available and more information on how to access this will come via the app and school website.

If you are unable to access online ie. no internet, device, or regular data please let the school know tomorrow.

We will continue to update you as new information becomes available to us.

Kind Regards 

Debra Peck


Covid-19 Update

Monday 23 March 

Dear Riverdale Whanau,

We realise these are worrying times for everyone. We continue to follow the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health guidelines. We need to remain calm and continue our positive messaging 

  • Continue good hand washing practice 
  • Drink from your own drink bottle 
  • Do not share food with others
  • If students feel unwell stay home …. But please let the office know this by 9am
  • If you intend to keep your child at home for longer than a day, please email this information, with the dates direct to the School Office.

We are receiving daily updates from the MOE, and have been reminded that the decision regarding School closure rests with the Ministry of Health.

The Prime minister has also stated that High Risk Individuals are requested to stay at home. This means that while the majority of people who are confirmed with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms, some individuals are at risk of more severe symptoms.

Older people, particularly those with pre-existing health problems are more likely to get severe illness and are therefore considered at risk. High risk individuals also include people with underlying medical conditions, such as:

  • a compromised immune system
  • liver disease
  • cancer
  • kidney disease
  • heart disease
  • diabetes mellitus

More information -


Distance Learning at Riverdale School

As school is currently open for learning, teachers are focusing on planning and preparing for those children who are at school.

As always, online links to learning are part of your child's class blog. You are most welcome to refer to these. You can find these links on our School Website and/or School App.

In the interim;

- Play board games

- Read books

- Do baking

- Talk with your child about their interest

- Create and make

- Go for walks and bike rides 

- Use the blog links for maintenance activities and ideas

If the school was to close, we have teachers designing “Distance Learning” options for our tamariki. Our plan includes contingencies for internet overload, and those who do not have access to devices and the internet.

We will continue to update you as new information becomes available to us.

Kind Regards 

Debra Peck

Term 1

Riverdale Twilight Event 27 February

Interschool Triathlon Wednesday 11th March 

Weetbix Tryathlon Wednesday 18th March (Cancelled)

Teacher Only Day Friday 20 March

Southern Cluster Interschool Swimming Friday 20th March 

Rippa Rugby Competition Tuesday 31 March  (Postponed)

Plant to Plant Program - Senior School Wk 3,4,5



Upcoming Events

Assemblies 2020

There will be no team assemblies in Term 1 2020 due to renovations.

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